2014 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 24 - FOOD AND DRUGS
Section 24:12-14 - Violations; penalties
24:12-14. Violations; penalties
a. The Commissioner of Health, upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in bottled water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health and safety, may take any action deemed necessary to protect the public health and safety. The actions may include, but need not be limited to: (1) issuing such orders as may be necessary to protect consumers of the bottled water; and (2) commencing a civil action for appropriate relief, including a restraining order or permanent or temporary injunction.
The Department of Health may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive or any other appropriate relief to prohibit and prevent a violation of the provisions of this act or any rule or regulation adopted, or order issued, pursuant thereto, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.
b. Any person who sells or manufactures or who has in his possession with intent to sell in this State any bottled water in violation of this act or any rule, regulation or order adopted or issued pursuant to this act, shall be liable to a civil administrative penalty of not more than $5,000.00 for the first offense, nor more than $10,000.00 for the second offense, and up to $25,000.00 for the third and each subsequent offense. A person selling bottled water at retail shall be liable for these civil administrative penalties only upon a failure to obey an order issued by the Department of Health to remove any bottled water manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this act. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues subsequent to receipt of an order to cease the violation shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense. No civil administrative penalty shall be levied, except subsequent to the notification of violation by certified mail or personal service. The notice shall include a reference to the section of the law, rule, regulation, order or permit condition violated; a concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute the violation; a statement of the amount of the civil penalties to be imposed; and a statement of the person's right to a hearing. The person shall have 20 days from receipt of the notice within which to deliver to the Commissioner of Health a written request for a hearing. Subsequent to the hearing and upon a finding that a violation has occurred, the Commissioner of Health may issue a final order after assessing the amount of the fine specified in the notice. If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order upon expiration of the 20-day period. Payment of the penalty is due when a final order is issued or when the notice becomes a final order. The authority to levy a civil administrative penalty is in addition to all other enforcement provisions of this act, and the payment of a civil administrative penalty shall not be deemed to affect the availability of any other enforcement provision in connection with the violations for which the penalty is levied.
c. The Department of Health is authorized to compromise and settle any claim for a penalty under this section in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under the circumstances, including the posting of a performance bond by the violator.
d. Any person who violates this act, or an administrative order issued pursuant to subsection b. of this section, or a court order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section, or who fails to pay a civil administrative penalty in full pursuant to subsection b. or c. of this section shall be subject, upon order of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 per day of the violation, and each day's continuance of the violation constitutes a separate and distinct violation. A person selling bottled water at retail shall be subject to a civil penalty only upon a failure to obey an order issued by the Department of Health to remove any bottled water manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this act. Any penalty imposed under this subsection may be recovered with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.). The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce "the penalty enforcement law."
L. 1987, c. 227, s. 7.
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